As we ring in the New Year, here’s a look at the top My Edmonds News stories of 2010:
The Edmonds City Council added some pomp and circumstance to its first council meeting of the new year Jan. 5, swearing in three newly elected councilmembers — Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, Strom Peterson and Michael Plunkett — and selecting a new council president, Steve Bernheim.
A woman died in a fire in her Edmonds home Jan. 10. A neighbor called 9-1-1 just before 10 a.m. to report smoke coming from a house in the 19300 block of 84th Avenue W. Firefighters located the fire victim, a woman in her 70s, as they conducted a search of the house as part of their firefighting effort.
The Edmonds City Council Jan. 19 appointed retired banker Diane Buckshnis to fill the position left vacant with the death of Councilmember Peggy Pritchard Olson in November 2009.The speedy process took many in the room by surprise, coming on the second ballot when Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, Steve Bernheim, Dave Orvis and Michael Plunkett voted for Buckshnis, giving her a four-vote majority. Councilmembers D.J. Wilson and Strom Peterson voted to appoint former Councilmember Ron Wambolt.
Edmonds resident Ed Aliverti, a former Edmonds School District music teacher who was known as one of the greatest wrestling announcers of all time, passed away Feb. 3 following a long battle with cancer.
Five Edmonds-Woodway High School wrestlers competed at the state tournament in the Tacoma Dome Feb. 19 and 20: Andrew Vulliet, 112 lbs.; Matt Cuzzetto, 119 lbs.; Mac Hutchison, 125 lbs.; Ryan Deweese, 130 lbs. and Zach Perez, 171 lbs.
The Community Transit Board of Directors March 4 “reluctantly but unanimously” approved a plan to suspend Sunday and major holiday service as of June 13, and to make other cuts to close a $5 million gap in the agency’s budget this year, according to an article on the CT website. The board also approved a 25-cent fare increase for local bus and paratransit service to help increase revenue, effective June 1.
Edmonds-Woodway’s girls basketball team brought home a new piece of hardware home to the high school’s trophy case after defeating Moses Lake 44-38 March 6 to earn fifth place in the 4A girls state basketball tournament. It was the first time that a girls basketball team from Edmonds-Woodway had appeared at state since 1993, and the Lady Warriors made the most of it — bouncing back from a first-round loss to state power Auburn Riverside and beating their next three opponents.
Eight teenage girls escaped safely March 20 after a fire broke out at an Edmonds home where they had been attending a sleepover party. The fire at the house in the 17500 block of 72nd Ave. W. was reported at 11:09 a.m. The girls told firefighters they saw smoke coming from the basement, then smoke alarms sounded and they safely exited the house. The two-alarm fire destroyed the 2900-square foot one-story house with a daylight basement. The loss is estimated at $275,000.
Edmonds City Councilmember Dave Orvis was acquitted April 6 of assaulting his 13-year-old son in a case that turned on how much force a parent can use to discipline a difficult teenager.
The City Council voted 5-2 during its April 14 meeting to purchase the the vacant Skippers restaurant across from the Edmonds ferry terminal property for $1.1 million pending the outcome of an appraisal and feasibility studies. Councilmembers D.J. Wilson and Strom Peterson were the dissenting votes, both stating that they believed it was fiscally irresponsible to make such a purchase given the city’s budget difficulties. Others on the council disagreed, however, stating that the purchase would guarantee that the property wouldn’t be sold to an undesirable owner. At the April 21 council meeting, 25 people showed up to speak — pro or con — about the decision.
A 37-year-old Edmonds woman died May 1 after she was struck by a northbound Burlington Northern train on the Edmonds waterfront. According to Edmonds Police Sgt. Don Anderson, Edmonds police were called to the scene at 5:40 a.m. Saturday. The female pedestrian was found dead on the tracks approximately 100 yards north of Brackett’s Landing on the Edmonds waterfront.
The Edmonds City Council’s proposal to purchase the vacant Skippers restaurant property across from the Edmonds waterfront for $1.1 million is dead — at least for now. During executive session May 5, the council learned that Cascade Bank did not accept the city’s counter offer, and the council decided not to make another offer for the property.
Dave Orvis announced May 6 that he was resigning from the City Council, effective May 31. Orvis said he “cannot simultaneously rise to the challenges at home and rise to the challenges of serving as a council member.”
Edmonds Mayor Gary Haakenson announced to the Edmonds City Council June 1 that he is stepping down as mayor and will become the new Deputy Snohomish County Executive. Haakenson, in his third term as Edmonds mayor, had already stated that he wouldn’t run again He said that Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon recruited him for the post, and that Reardon offered him the job last Friday.
Edmonds-Woodway junior Alec Fellows won the 39th annual Dennis McDonald Multi Events State Championships June 5. Fellows has verbally committed to attend the University of Oregon, where he will compete in the decathalon.
The South Snohomish County Narcotics Task Force, along with the Drug Enforcement Administration, served 26 search warrants early in the morning June 30 primarily in areas of south Snohomish and north King counties — including several Edmonds homes — breaking up a vast, organized indoor marijuana grow operation.
Crowds lined downtown streets Sunday afternoon to see an Edmonds Kind of Fourth of July parade, and they weren’t disappointed. It all started with the children’s parade, estimated as one of the largest ever, with kids showing off their red, white and blue regalia as they were pulled in wagons, pushed in strollers or traveling on scooters, bicycles and by foot.
Former Edmonds City Councilmember Lora Petso was appointed July 6 to fill a vacant seat on the City Council Tuesday night, receiving the necessary four-vote council majority. Casting votes for Petso to replace Dave Orvis, who resigned for personal reasons in May, were Councilmembers Michael Plunkett, Steve Bernheim, D.J. Wilson and Diane Buckshnis. Petso was chosen from among 17 candiates who applied for vacant seat.
The Edmonds City Council July 6 voted to launch a police investigation into the destruction of public property after contractors working on a condominium project June 29 significantly damaged the root system of a 60-year-old Douglas Fir tree located partially on city right of way, requiring the tree’s removal the next day, city officials said.
Snohomish County Councilmember Mike Cooper was appointed by the City Council to be Mayor of Edmonds July 20. A former City of of Shoreline firefighter who also served two terms representing Edmonds in the state Legislature, Cooper was selected from a pool of eight people who applied for the position vacated when Mayor Gary Haakenson resigned.
The Edmonds City Council on Aug. 3 decided by a 4-3 vote to place a proposal on the November general election ballot that would fund 37 separate city traffic safety, congestion and pedestrian improvements — using a $40-per-vehicle increase in licensing fees assessed to Edmonds residents.
A group of distinguished — and very full — judges ate their way through dozens of delicious dishes to determine “The Best of ” the Taste of Edmonds Aug. 13 as the annual festival got underway.
The Edmonds School District’s Supplemental Levy receives 54 percent of the vote during the Aug. 17 primary election, easily meeting the simple majority required for passage.
On Aug. 18, Sound Transit celebrated breaking ground on the first phase of construction of a new Sounder commuter train station in Edmonds. The transit hub, scheduled to open next spring, will replace a temporary structure south of the Amtrak station with a new east platform, passenger shelter, re-paved parking area, upgraded lighting, and secured storage for bicycles.
The Snohomish County Council voted unanimously Aug. 24 to appoint Lynnwood City Council Vice President Stephanie Wright as its newest member. Wright will fill the District 3 seat vacated by Mike Cooper, who left in July to become the new mayor of Edmonds. Edmonds City Councilmember D.J. Wilson and Lynnwood Planning Commission Member Maria Ambalada were also in the running for the position.
On Aug. 27, Edmonds became the first city in Washington state to ban single-use “checkout bags” at retail establishments takes effect. The date marked exactly one year since the Edmonds City Council adopted Ordinance No. 3749, which requires all retail establishments to comply by the first anniversary of passage.
Stevens Hospital in Edmonds was officially renamed Swedish/Edmonds on Sept. 1. The partnership was approved by the Washington State Department of Health in August.
After a few weather delays, the Edmonds Mural Society on Sept. 11 installed its fifth and final mural of the season — Tracy Fraker’s diptych mural Sun/Rise, Moon/Rise — on the side of Edmonds Bookshop just south of the Edmonds fountain.
An Edmonds man with a history of epilepsy pleaded not guilty Sept. 27 to vehicular homicide following a 2009 traffic accident that killed John Spudich, also of Edmonds, the Herald newspaper reported Tuesday.Prosecutors said that 69-year-old Ben Garnet Holt, who had a history of epileptic seizures and traffic accidents, was driving his pickup nearly 70 mph when he rear-ended Spudich’s minivan, which was stopped for a light at the intersection of 220th Street Southwest and 76th Avenue West on Nov. 17, 2009.
A former employee suspected of setting fire to Canopy World on Highway 99 in September pleaded not guilty Oct. 6 to second-degree arson and attempting to elude police. Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Eric Lucas ordered Damian Jungquist held on $20,000 bail. According to police, Jungquist was a former employee who left the business in spring 2010 to take another job.
On Oct. 15, Dick’s Drive-In officials reveal that their newest location will be in Edmonds, in the northeast corner of the Top Foods parking lot on 220th and Highway 99. The restaurant is expected to open in late 2011. Mayor Mike Cooper credited Community Services and Economic Development Director Stephen Clifton and Planning Manager Rob Chave for working hard to bring the restaurant chain to the city.
At the Oct. 19 Edmonds City Council meeting, Cooper announces his strong opposition to a proposal by the Washington State Ferry System to make Edmonds a replacement site for the Mukilteo ferry terminal. Washington State Ferries is considering nine concepts for replacing the aging Mukilteo ferry terminal, including two in Edmonds. A final decision on the matter isn’t expected until late next year.
The Edmonds International Film Festival launches its inaugural season Oct. 21 with a gala party, followed by three days of movies and workshops.
Oct. 22, we reported that the American Brewing Company is planning to open a brewery with a tasting room in the Harbor Square Business Complex, and that Gallagher’s Where U Brew, now located in downtown Edmonds, is planning to move in right next door.
On Nov. 1, the City Council unanimously passed a permanent ordinance that allows area churches to temporarily house the homeless during cold weather, replacing a temporary ordinance passed in December 2009 and renewed in June 2010.
Edmonds voters Nov. 2 soundly defeated Proposition 1, which would have added a $40-per-year, per-vehicle registration fee to pay for for street and sidewalk improvements through the city’s Transportation Benefit District. Shortly after the polls closed, the measure was trailing with only 29 percent approval, virtually ensuring that the measure would be defeated. In addition, Democrats won election or re-election in all Edmonds-area state legislative races, including Ruth Kagi, Cindy Ryu and Maralyn Chase in the 32nd District, Marko Liias, Mary Helen Roberts and Paull Shin in the 21st, and Luis Moscoso and Derek Stanford in the 1st.
Snow blanketed Edmonds Nov. 22, and icy conditions the following day caused road closures, vehicle spinouts, cancellation of school and other activities, including the week’s City Council meeting.
In November, the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office announced it wouldn’t charge Edmonds City Council President Steve Bernheim with a crime for removing one “No Dogs Allowed” sign and spray painting another along Sunset Avenue Oct. 30. “While Bernheim has overstepped his authority, I don’t believe that a jury of his peers would convict him of either crime based on this conduct,” wrote county prosecutor Joan Cavagnar.
Roadways were underwater, kayakers were seen navigating the Antique Mall parking lot, and docks and part of the golf course are submerged under Lake Ballinger Dec. 12 as Edmonds received 2.22 inches of rain in 22 hours.
Sustainable Edmonds, in partnership with Seattle-based Tangerine Power, on Dec. 15 announced the launch of the Edmonds Community Solar Cooperative that will install a 75-kilowatt community solar energy system on the Frances Anderson Center roof in downtown Edmonds. Membership in the Cooperative, the first community-owned solar cooperative in Washington state, is open to both residents and businesses with financial contributions to the project being returned to members by the year 2020.
Mayor Mike Cooper told the Edmonds City Council Dec. 28 that he won’t be signing the 2011 city budget that the Council approved a week earlier. Cooper’s decision doesn’t affect budget implementation, since under city law it will become effective without his signature. It does, however, reflect his concerns about the Council’s amendments to his original $35.6 million budget. “While many of the expenditures Council made during the amendment process have value, I am concerned with the effects these amendments will have on the ending General Fund balance, especially in this delicate economy,” Cooper wrote in a letter emailed to councilmembers.